The United States is eager to involve Indian investigators in global trials to assess the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 treatments, top US infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci said on Thursday, PTI reported.
At a session organised by the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum, Fauci said that the tie-up between the America’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and India’s Department of Biotechnology as well as the Indian Council of Medical Research had led to significant public health discoveries in the past.
“I am confident they will continue to do so in the future,” Fauci added, according to PTI. “India’s contributions to global scientific knowledge are well known to all. With strong governmental support and a vibrant biopharma private sector, this knowledge already is yielding solutions to Covid-19 prevention and care.”
Fauci said that the US will continue to work with India on research related to Covid-19 vaccines.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s ambassador to the US, said vaccinating people across the world was the “best bet against another wave of the pandemic”, according to PTI. He added that India relied on the US for raw materials and other components needed to manufacture vaccines.
Meanwhile, Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan said American vaccine makers Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson were expected to help provide vaccines to India by the end of 2021, The Hindu reported.
On Thursday, the US had also announced that it will share more than six million, or 60 lakh, vaccine doses with India, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and other countries. This is part of the 80 million, or 8 crore, doses that US President Joe Biden has promised to share with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the US administration for the initiative.
The US’ announcement comes as the Modi-led government is trying to allay concerns about shortages of vaccine doses in India and ward off allegations of mishandling of the inoculation drive. Health experts have warned that India needs to increase its current pace of vaccination to reduce the impact of subsequent waves of the pandemic.